The state senate is working on setting the stage for final negotiations on ending state income taxes on Social Security.
The House version of the bill included so many additional tax cuts that even the sponsor was doubting whether the state could afford the bill anymore. The Senate has thrown out all of those additional cuts…phasing out the six percent state income tax one percent each year to 20-14. Senator Jason Crowell of Cape Girardeau, who is handling the bill, says it is "unconscionable" that Missouri continues taxing Social Security benefits. He says Missouri is one of only fifteen states still levying income taxes on those benefits.
His bill also covers people who have other pension plans and were exempted from paying into the Social Security system: police officers and firefighters, teachers, veterans, railroad workers, and federal employees who were covered by the civil service retirement system before 1984.
Crowell says 73 percent of the beneficiaries of the bill are people earning less than 100-thousand dollars a year. The Senate has rejected a proposal to lower the threshold to 50-thousand dollars.
The Senate suspended debate last night so members could take part in a charity bowling tournament but hopes to finish work on its version of the bill tonight.